Entertainment: Cliff Richard has been left 'distraught' by Olivia Newton-John's death

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Cliff Richard has been left 'distraught' by the death of his 'soulmate' Olivia Newton-John, according to DJ Mike Read.

The singer, 81, who was close friends with the Australian star for more than 50 years, is 'devastated' after it was announced on Monday she'd died aged 73.

Cliff and Olivia had a close friendship that spanned decades after she regularly appeared on his show in the 1970s, with the musician even admitting he 'fell in love' with her.

Tragedy: Cliff Richard has been left 'distraught' by the death of his 'soulmate' Olivia Newton-John, according to DJ Mike Read (pictured in 1995) © Provided by Daily Mail Tragedy: Cliff Richard has been left 'distraught' by the death of his 'soulmate' Olivia Newton-John, according to DJ Mike Read (pictured in 1995)

Mike shared Cliff's heartache over Olivia's death with The Mirror, saying: 'I got an email from Cliff last night and he's devastated.'

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A pal added: 'Olivia counted Cliff as one of her closest friends. He was always there for her, no matter what. It's little wonder it's hit him so hard. They were soulmates.'

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Cliff Richard for comment.

Iconic: The singer, 81, who was close friends with the Australian star for more than 50 years, is 'devastated' after it was announced on Monday she'd died aged 73 (pictured in 2004) © Provided by Daily Mail Iconic: The singer, 81, who was close friends with the Australian star for more than 50 years, is 'devastated' after it was announced on Monday she'd died aged 73 (pictured in 2004)

Cliff and Olivia met back in 1971 when she became a regualr guest singer on his variety show, and she even joined him on tour as a backing singer.

The music legend has previously admitted he 'fell in love' with the Grease star, but 'lost his chance' because she was engaged to someone else.

Speaking in his autobiography The Dreamer, he said: 'We hit it off straight away. She was the sort of soulmate that you meet and you know is a friend for life.

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'When I and many of us were in love with Olivia she was engaged to someone else. I'm afraid I lost the chance.'

Close bond: Cliff previously admitted he 'fell in love' with Olivia, but 'lost his chance' because she was engaged to someone else. He has repeatedly denied they dated (pictured in 2005) © Provided by Daily Mail Close bond: Cliff previously admitted he 'fell in love' with Olivia, but 'lost his chance' because she was engaged to someone else. He has repeatedly denied they dated (pictured in 2005)

Speculation was rife that Cliff and Olivia were an item, but he has repeatedly denied the claims.


Video: Olivia Newton-John, Iconic 'Grease' Star, Dies at 73 (ETonline)

Olivia landed her big break when she sang a cover of Bob Dylan’s If Not for You on Cliff's hit show, and went onto star in Grease, capulting her to Hollywood stardom.

She and Cliff remained close friends for decade, and she stood by him when he was investigated by police, joining him on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in 2015 to mark his 75th birthday.

Blast from the past: Olivia landed her big break when she sang a cover of Bob Dylan’s If Not for You on Cliff's hit show (pictured in 1964) © Provided by Daily Mail Blast from the past: Olivia landed her big break when she sang a cover of Bob Dylan’s If Not for You on Cliff's hit show (pictured in 1964) Iconic role: She is most known for her famous role as Sandy in the 1978 movie Grease (pictured, Newton-John with Grease co-star John Travolta) © Provided by Daily Mail Iconic role: She is most known for her famous role as Sandy in the 1978 movie Grease (pictured, Newton-John with Grease co-star John Travolta)

Tributes have poured in for Olivia since her passing was announced on Monday, lead by her Grease co-star John Travolta.

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On Tuesday Didi Conn revealed Olivia opened up to her about her ailing health when they spoke 'a couple of weeks ago.'

The star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, but the disease returned in 2013 and in 2017.

'She told me that her health was, you know, she wasn't walking anymore and she had full-time care but her husband John and her daughter Chloe were there all the time, and she told me that they were just so hopelessly devoted,' she said on Good Morning America.

Tough time: The star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, but the disease returned in 2013 and in 2017 © Provided by Daily Mail Tough time: The star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, but the disease returned in 2013 and in 2017

Olivia's husband John Easterling announced the tragic news that Olivia had lost her battle with cancer on social media on Monday.

'Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,' he said in a statement.

'We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.

'Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer.

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'Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.'

Emotional: Olivia's husband John Easterling announced the tragic news that Olivia had lost her battle with cancer on social media on Monday (pictured in her final Instagram post) © Provided by Daily Mail Emotional: Olivia's husband John Easterling announced the tragic news that Olivia had lost her battle with cancer on social media on Monday (pictured in her final Instagram post) Read more

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